McDonald’s has released a commercial in France featuring a (le gasp) gay person!
Oh wow, this is about to get so complicated! These guys know what I’m talking about. Because on the one hand, great, I guess. Right? I mean, in the on-going struggle to provide equal rights to homosexuals (in 2010, for heaven’s sake) there’s certainly no real harm in presenting them as human beings who participate in the same activities as non-gay human beings, for example stuffing their bodies with GARBAGE. And the ad itself is pretty charming! It has soft, moody music, the kid seems like a real kid, the dad seems like a dad, and we’ve all been to McDonald’s, so it works, you know! But then you kind of think about it for a couple of seconds, and the whole thing falls apart.
For one thing, “Come As You Are”? That is less a motto and more a basic fact of human existence that should go without saying (not to mention the fact that the kid in the ad hasn’t come out to his father, so I guess in that sense we’re supposed to take this to mean that McDonald’s knows you better and is more understanding of you than your own family, in which case, yuck). This is the weird trend these days of self-congratulations for not being a fucking asshole. Like, NO SPOILERS, McDonald’s, but gay people have been eating your nightmare food FOR YEARS without a dedicated advertising campaign. I’m sure they appreciate the permission and everything, but relax. You don’t need to get a medal for publicly declaring that you’re not engaging in INSTITUTIONAL BIGOTRY. I’m just saying that it is a sad state of affairs that we all (myself included) feel uplifted by the simple fact that someone (or some corporation) DOESN’T perpetrate a hate crime.
But even more basically, let us not forget that this is an advertising campaign for a multi-billion dollar corporation in the business of selling poison. Like, before we get too excited about the bold steps being taken for EQUALITY and FREEDOM, let’s also remember that this is actually an emotionally manipulative attempt to sell dangerous quantities of fat, salt, and sugar. And that it was probably argued about AT EXHAUSTIVE LENGTH in some closed boardroom somewhere before the final determination was made that this particular nod towards human equality would sell more fat, salt, and sugar than it would lose customers for the fat, salt, and sugar. I’m just saying let’s remember that at its root what this is, basically, is a demonstration that homosexuals are now a viable target for the malicious efforts of bottom-line-assessing advertising executives. Congratulations? To all of us? I’m sure?
Like I said, it is complicated. Really. Because there is something that is probably “good” about this commercial, or at the very least, I’m sure it represents some kind of “important step.” I just think we should all take a second before we pat McDonald’s too hard on the back for basically saying “closeted young gay people in France can also pay us to consume dangerously awful food.” (Thanks for the tip, Andy.)